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Vancouver, Burnaby among the top three most expensive rental cities in B.C.

Other cities like Victoria, Kelowna, Surrey and Langley were on the list of the 35 most expensive cities for vacant rentals in Canada.
The purpose-built rental apartment vacancy rate decreased from 1.2 per cent in 2021 to 0.9 per cent in 2022, according to CMHC.

Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada when it comes to vacant rental spaces, according to the latest National Rent Report by and Urbanation. 

Across all vacant rental types, such as townhouses, apartments or condos, Vancouver topped the list of 35 cities across the nation for vacant units, according to the report. 

In addition to Vancouver, Burnaby also topped the list at third place, after Toronto. Other B.C. cities like Victoria and Kelowna came in at the ninth and 10th spots, with Langley and Surrey coming in at14th and 15th.

B.C.'s average rent for condos and apartments rose by 11.4 per cent annually, according to the report. 

Paul Danison, content director with, said that Vancouver has been at the top of this list "for quite a while." 

"Let's say you have to move for whatever reason. You get a new job or try to get a bigger place, you'll move out of your two-bedroom, and if you look for the same unit, you're going to be really surprised how much the rents are going to go up," he said. 

For a one-bedroom rental in Vancouver, the average monthly rent is $2,640, with the average monthly rental for a two-bedroom unit at $3,632 and $4,317 for a  three-bedroom. In addition to Vancouver being the most expensive, rent for condos and apartments in the city rose by 19 per cent annually, according to the report.  

Burnaby's vacant rental rate increased by 17.5 per cent for apartments and condos annually, with Surrey rising by 16 per cent and Coquitlam by 14.2 per cent. 

According to Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation, rent increases across Canada in the past three months have seen a relative pullback. 

"The recent slowing can be related to high rental costs impacting affordability and an increase in new supply from apartment completions. However, several key markets experiencing high demand continued to see rents trend higher last month," he said in a press release. 

Danison predicts that rent increases will moderate further in the third quarter of 2023. 

Though other cities like North Vancouver, Richmond and New Westminster didn't make the list, Danison said that rental rates on vacant units are still high. 

"All three of those, even though they're not on our list of 35, rent is pretty high in those cities," he said. 

According to Danison, the high rents across B.C. can be attributed to persistent demand and little supply. Inflation and immigration are also putting pressure on the rental market, further increasing demand, he said. 

"There's just not enough supply. I mean, you can talk about all the other reasons you want, but the basic economics of it comes down to supply and demand," he said.